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Canada: A Regional Geography David Rossiter, Western Washington University

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Title: Canada: A Regional Geography David Rossiter, Western Washington University


1
Canada A Regional Geography David Rossiter,
Western Washington University
A Northern Silver Mine F. Carmichael
2
Five Themes
  • Location
  • relative / absolute
  • Place
  • human / physical
  • Human-Environment interactions
  • adaptation, modification, dependence
  • Movement
  • Regions

3
YK
NWT
NVT
NFLD and LAB
BC
ALTA
MTBA
SASK
QUE
PEI
ONT
NB
NS
4
Whitehorse
Iqaluit
Yellowknife
St. Johns
Edmonton
Vancouver
Saskatoon
Charlottetown
Victoria
Winnipeg
Fredericton
Calgary
Regina
Quebec
Halifax
St. John
Ottawa
Montreal
Toronto
5
The Physical Base
  • Geology
  • Topography
  • Soils
  • Vegetation
  • Climate
  • Fundamental to understanding Canadas Human
    Geography

6
The Late Wisconsin Ice Age
  • Last ice age in the territory of Canada
  • Southern limit Wisconsin
  • Covered vast majority of Canadas territory
  • Reached maximum extent 18,000 years ago
  • Started to recede 15,000 years ago
  • Last remnants in Rockies 7,000 years ago

7
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8
Till and erratic Peggys Cove, N.S.
9
Drumlin - Alberta
10
Esker - Manitoba
11
Glacial Lake Jasper, AB
12
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13
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Lowlands
Q
W
- Quebec City to Windsor - Smallest physiographic
region lt 2 of Canadas landmass
14
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Lowlands
  • Geology sedimentary rock (strata) and glacial
    deposits
  • Flat, rolling topography
  • Good soil
  • Moderate climate, good growing season
  • humid and hot summer / cold winter
  • Proximity to USA
  • HEARTLAND

15
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16
Appalachian Uplands
17
Appalachian Uplands
  • Northern section of Appalachian Mountians
  • 2 of Canadas land mass
  • Rounded uplands and narrow river valleys
  • Rocky, shallow soils
  • Mixed forest
  • Cool, maritime climate
  • short summer, wet winter

18
NFLD North Coast
19
Canadian Shield
20
Canadian Shield
  • Largest region 50 of Canada
  • Geological core of North America
  • Underlies other physiographic regions
  • Precambrian rocks gt 3 billion yrs old
  • Widespread evidence of glaciation
  • Shallow soils, exposed granite
  • Mixed and Boreal forest
  • Northern continental climate
  • hot, short summer / cold, long winter

21
Quebec North Shore
22
Hudson Bay Lowlands
23
Hudson Bay Lowlands
  • 3.5 of the area of Canada
  • Youngest phyisographic region in Canada
  • Made up of muskeg (wet peatland)
  • Interrupted by low ridges of sand and gravel
  • Poorly drained due to level surface
  • Northern climate maritime influence
  • short, warm summer / long, cold winter

24
Muskeg Hudson Bay Lowlands
25
Delta James Bay Coast
26
Interior Plains
27
Interior Plains
  • 20 of Canadas landmass
  • Geologic base of sedimentary rock
  • Land shaped by glacial and hydrological processes
    river valleys
  • Slope west to east Hudson Bay Wtshd
  • Rich soils in south
  • Oil and gas deposits (ancient seabed)
  • Continental climate moderate precip.
  • hot summer / cold winter

28
Wheat field outside Winnipeg
29
Near Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta
30
South Saskatchewan River
31
Arctic Lands
32
Arctic Lands contd
  • 25 of Canadas territory
  • Mainly sedimentary rock
  • Coastal plains (Lowlands)
  • Plateaux and mountains (Innuitian)
  • Ground permanently frozen permafrost
  • Main geomorphic process frost action
  • Glaciers still active calved into icebergs
  • Coooold, areas of polar desert

33
Mountains Baffin Island
34
Cordillera
35
Cordillera
  • 16 of Canadas territory
  • Formed 40-80 million years ago
  • collision between NA and Pacific plates
  • Rockies up-thrust sedimentary rocks
  • Coast mountains volcanic activity
  • Coast an active fault zone
  • earthquakes, volcanoes
  • part of Pacific Rim of Fire

36
Cordillera contd
  • Glaciers remain in high alpine areas
  • Fertile river valleys and deltas (particularly SW
    corner of BC)
  • Largely coniferous forest cover
  • Multiple micro-climates
  • warmer, wetter on coast
  • colder, drier in interior

37
Sedimentary rocks at Lake Louise
38
The Barrier Coast Mountains, BC
39
Where are all the people?
  • Short answer
  • In cities, near the USA
  • 80 of Canadians live in cities (100,000)
  • 80 of Canadians live within 100km of USA

40
Pop. Density 2001
Current Pop 32mil
41
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42
Where are all the people?
  • Longer answer
  • All over
  • cities draw on resources of hinterland
  • north dominated by resource towns and regional
    service centres

43
Three Popular Explanations
  • Staples Development
  • Canada developed by resource extraction
  • Heartland-hinterland patterns
  • International, national, regional scales
  • Physical disunity (or, unity despite geography)
  • Human settlement in patches, difference from USA

44
Storehouse of Raw Materials
  • Hewers of wood and drawers of water
  • Earliest European interests were more commercial
    than colonial fish, fur
  • Colonial settlement shaped by staples extraction
    and export
  • Trade with mother countries (Britain, France),
    then USA
  • Resources still major economic sector

45
Forestry Communities 1996
46
Mining Communities 1996
47
Oil and Gas Communities 1996
48
Metropolitan Heartlands
  • A urban nation
  • against stereotype
  • diverse
  • Old(ish)
  • Quebec City (1608)
  • Young
  • Vancouver (1886)
  • Draw on hinterlands resources
  • insurance, finance, manufacturing

49
Financial Services
50
Canadas Regional Character
  • Socio-economic regions
  • Shaped by
  • physical geography
  • political boundaries
  • language
  • historical patterns
  • Heartland-hinterland relations
  • Regional identities powerful
  • Political considerations

51
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52
This place wasnt always Canada
  • 1000s of years of Native presence
  • European contact over centuries
  • late-15th C in east, mid-18th C in west
  • Resettlement by Europeans through
  • force
  • treaty
  • depopulation (disease)
  • Historical geographies matter socially,
    politically, ecologically

53
Current Geographical Issues
  • Native land claims
  • BC particularly, but not exclusively
  • Environmental crises
  • forestry, climate, energy
  • Federal balance
  • Fiscal and other issues (ENERGY POLICY)
  • Cities growth
  • planning, opportunity for newcomers

54
References
  • Maps and images were obtained at
  • www.canadainfolink.ca/geog.htm
  • http//atlas.nrcan.gc/site/english/index.html
  • Other resources
  • A good atlas of Canada
  • Historical Atlas of Canada, vols. 1-3, University
    of Toronto Press
  • The Fur Trade in Canada, Harold Innis
  • Heartland and Hinterland, McCann and Gunn
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